Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers

The story begins with a black man bleeding and being pulled from a police car with his hands cuffed behind his back on 123rd street in Harlem.  The year is 1957 and Myers draws the reader in immediately by describing the local community’s reaction and the emergence of the “formation of black men.  They were all dressed neatly with short haircuts, their arms folded before them.  Some wore dark glasses, many wore suits.  None of them were smiling. (3)”  Myers weaves a compelling narrative starting with Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam’s strategy for confronting police brutality in the late fifties and early sixties and then going back to the childhood and teen years of the child who would go on to courageously lead his followers, influence thinkers and activists around the world, and change the course of history in less than 200 pages.  Photographs of the subject and artifacts are sprinkled throughout.  Backmatter includes an index, photo credits, a bibliography, and a chronology which represents a double timeline; the left column of each page displays big events in American history beginning with the stock market crash in 1929, and the right column shows events in Malcolm’s life, beginning with his birth in 1925 and ending with three assassins’ sentencing in 1966.  A rich and timely work of narrative non-fiction. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Myers, Walter Dean.  Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary.  New York: Scholastic, 1993. Print.

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